Weekly news

30/03/2013 to 05/04/2013

Top Stories:                      

 Africa-China – Friends, Sincere Partners Forever – The Herald (ZWE)

CAN comment: Comments from President Xi Jinping during his visit to Tanzania. Very interesting to see the Chinese President publish a full article in an African news source praising the continent and the relationship with China. The down to earth and familiar style is a big part of what has endeared the Chinese government to African partners, Whenever I come to Africa, two things always strike me the most. One is the continuous progress… The other is your overwhelming warmth.”

 Is China Tanzania’s genuine partner or an opportunist? – The Citizen (TZA)

CAN comment: In the face of China’s charm offensive this Tanzanian journalist asks whether China is really a beneficial partner for Tanzania. The journalist also calls for stronger leadership from African governments to ensure opportunities presented by China’s presence are fully utilised.

 West losing out to China in Africa, Senegal’s Sall tells Obama – RFI

CAN comment: Despite a great deal of expectation around the way in which the US might engage Africa under President Obama, there has been little activity under his administration. President Bush was in fact far more active in Africa than Obama has been. In a rare move last week four African leaders (selected for their good governance credentials) were selected to visit Washington.

 Chinese businessmen slow to exploit potential for farming in Africa – South China Morning Post (CHN)

CAN comment: SCMP reports on Chinese agriculture development quoting a Chinese cabbage farmer in Sudan, “Sudan has a small population but a lot of arable land. Areas along the Nile are good for agricultural production, but [Chinese] people fear the social environment, so few Chinese have farmed well there so far.” One constraint not mentioned here may be water availability. Us of Nile water is a sensitive issue in the country and the region.

 Ethiopia could be shoemaker to the world – BDLive (ZAF)

CAN comment: The Ethiopian shoe making industry has been a great example of the potential positive impact that can be achieved through Chinese investment. While extractives investment and infrastructure programs have been important to recent growth, Chinese companies establishing large labour intensive industries in Africa could be truly transformative.

 China’s Sudanese dilemma: Secure oil whatever the cost – The Independent (GBR)

CAN comment: An odd article recycling a number cliches around China’s engagement in Africa. The article’s main finding is that China has invested a great deal of money in building relationships with North and South Sudan and it is likely to continue to do so. Hardly groundbreaking, and only really newsworthy because the title hints at Chinese malevolence.

Politics 

China needs Africa, so it must respect it – The Nation (TAI)
05/04/2013
The Economist magazine noted on the eve of Xi Jinping’s first overseas trip as Chinese president, when he visited three African countries: “China’s image in Africa, once marred by suspicion, is changing … a growing number of Africans say the Chinese create jobs, transfer skills and spend money in local economies.”

Africa-China – Friends, Sincere Partners Forever – The Herald (ZIM)
04/04/2013
This is my first visit to Africa as the Chinese President and my sixth visit to the African continent. The moment I set foot on this beautiful land, I was impressed by the overwhelming friendship of the Tanzanian people toward the Chinese people.

Has China been a friend in Africa? – South China Morning Post (CHN)
02/04/2013
Despite its undeniable symbolism, Xi Jinping’s first trip to Africa as China’s president hasn’t brought any substantial change to Beijing’s rhetorical approach to the resource-rich continent. In his opening address in Tanzania, Xi drew on the same pompous language used by his predecessors.

Is China Tanzania’s genuine partner or an opportunist? – The Citizen (TZA)
03/04/2013
It is time for debriefing as the dust of the highly anticipated visit preceded by overwhelming propaganda settles down. In a well furnished brand new conference hall, flanked by his host President Jakaya Kikwete, President Xi Jinping  of China uttered exactly what an African leader enjoys to hear, especially from a donor: No (political) strings will be attached to aid from China.

China urges political solution in CAR – FOCAC
03/04/2013
China urges all sides in the Central African Republic (CAR) to resolve the country’s current crisis through political means, a Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman said on Monday.

Applause for China-Africa cooperation – Daily Mail (ZAM)
03/04/2013
RECENTLY, the governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria published an article in theFinancial Times. In this article, he claims that China takes Africa’s primary goods and sells Africa-manufactured ones, which is the essence of colonialism.

China’s new president concludes first foreign visit with fruitful results – FOCAC
01/04/2013
Chinese President Xi Jinping on Saturday left Brazzaville, capital of the Republic of the Congo, for Beijing, concluding his first foreign visit after taking office with fruitful results.

China hopes for post-election Kenyan unity,development – People’s Daily (CHN)
01/04/2013
A spokesman for China’s Foreign Ministry on Monday expressed the country’s hope that Kenyans can join hands for national stability and development following their recent presidential election.

China, Republic of Congo issue joint communique to boost ties – FOCAC
01/04/2013
China and the Republic of the Congo issued on Saturday a joint communique on the agreements reached by the two nations’ presidents, as well as their common desire to promote bilateral ties and expand cooperation in the future.

West losing out to China in Africa, Senegal’s Sall tells Obama – RFI
30/03/2013
The West should pay as much attention to Africa as China and other developing economies are doing, Senegal’s President Macky Sall told RFI in Washington. Sall was among four African leaders judged democratic enough to meet US President Barack Obama at the White House on Thursday.

Ivory Coast looks to China for support – UPI
29/03/2013
African countries like Ivory Coast need the support of the Chinese government to advance economic and political goals, the Ivorian president said. Ivorian PresidentAlassane Ouattara met with Chinese President Xi Jinping during the BRICS forum in Durban, South Africa.

Agriculture

Chinese businessmen slow to exploit potential for farming in Africa – South China Morning Post (CHN)
31/03/2013
Jin Jianzheng, 57, has a job many Chinese might envy – farming 13 hectares of virgin land along the Blue Nile in Sudan. His vegetable farm in Khartoum, Sudan’s capital, provides a taste of home for Chinese who moved there to exploit the country’s oil and mineral resources. In peaceful times, he made a profit of US$100,000 a year.

Finance and Banking

Aid giving by rich nations falls for second year – China Daily (CHN)
05/04/2013
Development aid from rich countries to some of the world’s poorest fell for a second year in a row in 2012, as big European donor countries hit by years of debt crisis cut their spending. Data released by the Paris-based club of rich countries, the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development, on Wednesday showed a 4 percent fall in aid last year by its Development Assistance Committee members to $125.7 billion.

Continued Chinese assistance to Zimbabwe applauded – Global Times (CHN)
05/04/2013
Agriculturist and political commentator Sheunesu Mupepereki on Thursday applauded the Chinese government for continuing the economic support to Zimbabwe.

Intimidated Chinese investors pack out of Ghana – Antwi Boasiako – GhanaWeb (GHN)
04/04/2013
Intimidated Chinese investors are reportedly packing out of the country. That is according to the President of the Ghana-China Chamber of Commerce.

US, China can grow Africa’s market – BD Live (ZAF)
02/04/2013
AS CHINA’s President Xi Jinping was noni-nterferingly signing deals in Africa last week on his first overseas foray as head of state, his American counterpart, Barack Obama, had four African leaders around to the White House for a pat on the back and a quiet chat about democracy, governance and how, in the US view, they lay the foundations for economic success.

China and Mozambique central banks to increase cooperation – Macauhub (MOZ)
02/04/2013
The central banks of China and Mozambique have decided to increase their two-way cooperation, specifically in the area of professional training and expanding banking activities in Mozambique into rural areas, during a meeting of the two governors.

China’s Xi signs multimillion-dollar deals in Congo – BDLive (ZAF)
31/03/2013
China’s new President Xi Jinping on Friday signed deals worth several million dollars with his Congolese counterpart in sectors as varied as banking and infrastructure, on the final leg of his three-nation Africa tour.

Is China buying up Africa? – CNN International
29/03/2013
The world’s second superpower is pouring billions of dollars into Africa, running oil and mining firms all over the continent. China is constructing everything from roads and bridges to stadiums and important government buildings.

Manufacturing

Ethiopia could be shoemaker to the world – BDLive (ZAF)
04/05/2013
HELEN Hai, GM for overseas investment at Huajian Group, a leading Chinese footwear manufacturer, has a bold vision: in 10 years she wants Ethiopia to be a global hub for the shoe industry, supplying the African, European and American markets and providing jobs for more than 100,000 local workers.

Mining and Metals

Resource-rich Africa: China expresses resolve to invest – International Herald Tribune
31/03/2013
China’s new President Xi Jinping on Saturday wrapped up his first foreign trip, which has seen him sign energy deals with Russia and scores of accords with countries in resource-rich Africa, ending his tour by visiting the African nation of Congo, a first for a Chinese president.

Gabon still in talks with China over Belinga mine – Business Recorder
30/03/2013
Gabon is still negotiating with its Chinese partner to develop the giant Belinga iron ore deposit, a project key to diversifying the country’s oil-reliant economy, but it will likely bring in other miners and could break up the vast concession. Deputy Minister for the Economy Desire Guedon also said economic growth will slip to 7.0 percent this year, from 7.3 percent in 2012, and crude oil output will decline half of 1 percent.

Oil and Energy

China’s Sudanese dilemma: Secure oil whatever the cost – The Independent (GBR)
03/02/2013
News broke in late March that South Sudan ordered its oil companies to start production again. The fledgling Sub-Saharan nation stopped oil exports in January 2012 amid failed negotiations with Sudan over oil transmission prices. Not that this is anything new. The two Sudans reached an agreement last September but it was never implemented due to disagreement over border security issues.

The Revelation of China for Tanzanian Coal Resource Development – Digital Journal
01/04/2013
Coal has been meeting human demand for energy for a long time, and it has also become the indispensable element for various countries’ industrial revolution and the modernization process.

Trade

China-Zim Trust in Awareness Drive – The Herald (ZIM)
04/04/2013
ZIMBABWEANS interested engaging in trade with Chinese companies have been presented with a platform to enable them to gather the necessary information before sealing business deals to avoid losing their hard- earned money through bogus companies.

China-Nam trade volume reaches N$6 billion – New Era (NAM)
03/04/2013
Trade volumes between Namibia and China grew to over N$6 billion by the year 2012, and there is a real and enormous potential to further grow trade volumes between the two countries.

Xi’s visit to Tanzania ‘a blessing’ for local traders – The Citizen (TZA)
01/04/2013
Dar es Salaam-based Home Shopping Centre has described the visit of Chinese President Xi Jinping as a blessing, urging stakeholders to take advantage of opportunities the world’s second largest economy has on offer.

Transport and Infrastructure

Chinese firm kicks off railway modernization project in Nigeria – Shanghai Daily
03/04/2013
The China Civil Engineering Construction Corporation (CCECC) on Wednesday kicked off a railway modernization project in Nigeria, the most populous country in Africa.

Diversity, infrastructure will shape new Sino-African relations – Global Times (CHN)
02/04/2013
Africa is at the epicenter of global attention recently as leaders from Brazil, Russia, China and India converged in South Africa in late March to strike a deal on their integration and industrialization. The five emerging economies sought to deepen political and entrepreneurial operations at the fifth BRICS Summit in Durban.

Education

Republic of Congo gets library dedicated to China – FOCAC
03/04/2013
People in the Republic of Congo interested in Chinese culture will be able to watch as many as 341 documentaries and feature films at Ngouabi University’s newly launched China Library to guide them into an exploration of modern China’s dynamic society.

Society

Xi encourages Chinese doctors to help further improve Africa’s health care services -FOCAC
01/04/2013
Chinese President Xi Jinping on Saturday encouraged his country’s medical volunteers in Africa to make more contributions to the improvement of local health care services.

China to build cultural centre in Tanzania – IPP Media (TZA)
01/04/2013
China’s government has revealed plans to set up a Chinese cultural centre in Tanzania that will accommodate 100-120 Chinese students at a time.

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